The fight satisfies


Battle lines drawn.

Positions solidified.

Arguments made.

All thrilling, perhaps fun, but unlikely to change minds.

If your cause is important enough, it’s worth taking the time and emotional energy to make your case without an argument. The opportunity is to recast your outcome in terms of the other person’s worldview, not insist that they change what they want or what they think they know.

The culture isn’t immutable. You can change it.

But not by picking a fight.


Reposted from Seth Godin’s blog.


Is it corruption if everyone accepts it?


Walmart…and McDonald’s… and Tyson, Foods, can (and do) dictate the price of goods they buy because of their monopoly-like influence over their suppliers.

Similarly, large media conglomerates…including Google, YouTube, and Facebook, can (and do) dictate what is allowed to be communicated by their customers.

Orwell wasn’t especially smart (or paranoid) in predicting a future where your words and actions are monitored and controlled.  He was simply observing the consequences of human nature, seen throughout history:

Power is concentrated in large institutions, whether they are large corporate institutions or large government institutions.  And after time, that power is abused.

The questions is: Why do we elect government leaders who continue to allow these large corporate institutions to disrupt our economy?

Why allow such influence on our businesses, our speech…over our very livelihood?

Confucius vs tribalists

confucius-quotes-8 (1)

I must get the full picture

Know the importance of all factors in the situation, as best I can.

Before I conclude something.
Especially if I’m not involved in the situation personally.
My judgments on a person based on a group I assign him or her are just that:
My personal prejudice.
Based on tribalism.
Based on “it’s us against them”
Based on generalizations.

And reality is more complicated than generalizations.

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.


The patriarchy is not your friend

Being denied promotion is a result of judgment by the patriarchy.

And being awarded a promotion is a result of judgment by the patriarchy.

This is because leadership is usually male, and males care about winning. They don’t really care about feelings, or your gender, or whether a group is diverse.  They care about whether you can lead definitively and produce effectively.

Those who work more are rewarded more. This is because the job market is a field of competition. If you are male and can’t compete, you are left behind. And if you’re a female and can’t compete, you, too, are left behind.

Competition doesn’t care about who you are.  It cares about what you do better than other people.

Feeling victimized if I don’t excel in this competition is like walking on the football field and asking, “Why do only big guys get to play?”

Of course, there is sexism in the workplace, and it prejudges women. This is one of many factors that affect your success in the marketplace.  Of all these factors, the one that most powerfully impacts my success is not trying.

Maybe I don’t try because I see myself as being helpless to the boss, or helpless to the system.  But victimizing myself reveals my subservient nature. It’s an attitude which allows others to rule my life.

And yet, the patriarchy does not rule me… or you.  It is not your friend, and it is not your enemy.

It is an invisible hand that rewards skills, competence, and drive.

It rewards toughness over agreeableness.

The patriarchy is not a moral entity.  That’s like saying a river is moral or immoral depending on where it flows. The patriarchy is a state of being that maximizes wins and minimizes loss, like Evolution, which relentlessly removes the weak from the herd through competition, so that the herd maintains its strength.

But, unlike a river, the patriarchy is not just a force of nature, but also a manifestation of humanity’s values.

If the patriarchy changes, it is a change which comes from within us, from a change in nature, and a change in nurture…a change in what you choose to nurture and encourage in your life.

The patriarchy is not a conspiracy from an authority which favors members of its own kind, but a natural progression of competition and societal values.  It is who we are…for now.  And as a consumer/producer/employee, you decide what is acceptable, through your actions, and how you choose to live your life.

So… what do you choose?

Take her down from her pedestal


This is a message to the men out there.

Do you think women are equal to men?

Do you think women are to be respected?

The answer to the first question is No, because the answer to the second is Yes.

Many men have the endless song beating in their hearts…the song of attraction.  The song of attraction that is their major distraction. The attraction to females: It is the problem of men.  Until the day they embrace it.

The most fulfilling day in a man’s life, the day he awakens and comes to maturity, is when he accepts himself and his helpless attraction.  When he accepts that loving women is nothing to be ashamed of.   This realization is shocking, and liberating.  But it’s not enough.

The second step is taking her down from the pedestal.  When we put the female on a pedestal, we are making her a separate being:  We are putting a distance between us.  Why treat them in such a way?

Because they are not equal to us.

This we must acknowledge:  We must see the magic in females. Their ability to create life is something profound and precious and, well… magical.  A magic of biology that men cannot equal.  We plant the seed, yes.  And we support, and we protect.

While females create life.

But placing her on a pedestal segregates us.  It prevents us from honest communication and understanding each other…understanding the feelings which underpin her life.  But most of all, the separation prevents us from truly supporting them as a human being.  Instead, we make them into an object in a showcase.

So bring her down from the pedestal. Have her join you, stand by her side.

It’s you and her against the world.

And we need each other.

Top 3 ways to gaslight your opponent


We’ve all been in the discussion that gets…serious.  Meaning, you need to know what you’re talking about…or do you?

In debate, there are various techniques which can be applied, whether you are informed or not.  One such maneuver is gaslighting.

Gaslighting is when you make your opponent think their view on the facts is so wrong, that they don’t understand reality.  Gaslighting is one of the best ways to diminish not only the opponent’s argument, but to diminish the person themselves into a mushy pile of self-doubt.

You could go the way of Trump, who is one of the most shameless and obvious gaslighters, by simply answering, “I never said that.” when everyone knows you did.

But, there are more subtle ways…

So, without further ado, here are the top three ways to gaslight:


Yes, the tried and true, good old sarcasm. Used best during the years of teenage angst, when you knew so much about the world that you could be self-assured to say the opposite and everyone could tell what was obviously true. (You see what I did there? That was sarcasm).

Sarcasm is great in belittling an opponent and make them question themselves: “Wait, am I off on this?” It’s also good because it makes you feel better, reassuring your world view.

It’s important to remember that sarcasm is best served like revenge: Cold.  This dispassionate delivery makes it clear you’re unemotional and clearheaded about what you believe, even if you’re not.

Character assassination

A close cousin to sarcasm, character judgments are a good way of changing the subject without appearing like you’re changing the subject.  You can slightly shift the discussion to make the other person defend their values, which distracts from the issue and makes it personal.  

This is very easy to do, because most people what to defend themselves, and when they do, it becomes a battle of the ego!  And if you’ve got the bigger ego, congratulations: You’ve already won. Because when you demolish an ego, you take a person’s self-confidence.  Gaslighting!


This one is an oldie but goodie, and is also related to personal attacks, in that it shifts the focus off of the issue. Whataboutism is perhaps more powerful than character assassination because while it also distracts, it distracts to a similar situation.  Thus being related, it seems like you’re still on topic, when you’re just circling it.

Whataboutism is great because it’s limited only by how many related examples you can come up with.  The discussion can be derailed into endless territories, where comparisons are superficial.  And if you have enough stamina, you can exhaust your opponent into a stupor of self doubt: “Uhh, what were we talking about?”

The trifecta of gaslighting:  Sarcasm, Character assassination, and Whataboutism

With these tools in your kit, you can win any argument, with minimal knowledge and research of the issues. And in the process, you can send your opposition into a tailspin of crippling self-doubt.

Photo from the movie, Gaslight, released 1944